REVOLUTION NUMBER 9
PT 3
FROM IAN HAMMOND

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(c) Ian Hammond 1999
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The story so far: this is the third in a series studying Revolution 9. In this article I deal with the thirty seconds between 1.30 and 2.00. Conventions used in the text are explained at the end of the post.
First, here's the two new voices which emerge in this section:

1.45 D4 Cackle

[C#:] High pitched laughter, irritating.
Source: Unknown woman. Probably EMI effects tape.
Style: Cocktail Party boring
The voice was a dub. It's irritating because of the sonic qualities of the voice itself, but also because of the key of C#.

1.48 L9 Guitar unison

(A) Single e-guitar note. A high A.
Source: Unknown. Maybe from "Revolution 1"
I guess this an electric guitar. Since it appears in isolation, I imagine it came from a Beatle or private Lennon track. It is used to provide some excitement in the high register, in particular at the start of section 3.

Section 1.3 [1.30-2.00]

The first major stretto begins with strings group, adding brass, and closes on the sounds of a female laughing too loud. The fabric is disturbed by rapid switching of sound between channels and by punching in sounds percussively.
Here's the action in a nutshell:

1.30 1.35 1.40 1.45 1.50 1.55
################### JohnAndGeorge
########## Strings (Stasis/Fiddle/Agitato)
Winds ####################### ## ######
Fanfare ############## ##
Cackle #####################
Guitar/Choir #####

1.30 Stretto

1.30 Eb: Stasis strings
Eb: Fiddle
Bb Agitato -- in bursts
[b:] JohnAndGeorge; Waltz

First the string based voices, all around Eb major. A rather amazing construction with the events and chords synchronised.
1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36
+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-----
D Eb E F G A Bb Agitato tune
Ab .... Ab Eb Ab Eb F Ab Fiddle tune
Bb Ab Ab Stasis tune
Eb Eb f f Eb Eb Eb Stasis chord
1.36 (BEAD) Horns, acting as bass
(CEAD) Duck oboe
-- "Flapping" -- sounds of flapping wings?
The strings stop abruptly, replaced by the brass and reeds for six seconds, time for the horn figure to be played twice. The horn and oboe continue to the end of this section.
1.43 Bb2 Fanfare is added
[C#:] Cackle
The fanfare is added prominently to the emerging cacophony. The cackle starts its journey.
1.48 [C a] Backwards stretto choir
Very brief. Choir, high strings.
Forward: c a g Tune
Backward:a g c Tune
The Stretto Choir adds a little color in the background. There is an audible cut between 1.48 and 1.49
1.49 (A) Guitar-Unison -- till 1.52
d Stretto choir -- very brief
1.51 (B) Bass whoosh (G#-B) from horns.
A fairly plain area around A minor/D minor leaves us prepared for the highly structured close:
1.52 (D#E#) Cackle alone.
1.53 many Tutti. Duck oboe
(DCEG) Oboe.
1.54 (B#C#) Cackle alone.
1.55 many Tutti
(C# G#) Oboe, slowed down.
(G) Horn
1.56 () Horn/Bass
(D# G#) Horn slowed down
g# Wind chord???
1.57 (B) Bass
(B) "Number nine"
(F#~) Stretto choir
(D# A#) Baby voice
(G#) Fiddle
1.58 (B) "Number nine"
(D#) Baby
(G#) Fiddle
Despite the apparent chaos, there is in fact a very orderly sequence of events. We rarely hear prominent events overlapping, and they arrive on a very regular basis. The apparent chaos has more to do with an overload of musical events in a short space of time. The final chord sequence is intriguing. The texture is sparse, but complicated by a slowing down of the horn and oboe parts by about a semitone (you can hear the distortion the in horn part in particular).
1.52 1.53 1.54 1.55 1.56 1.57 1.58
D#E# B#C#' D# Cackle
C#B#G# Oboe
D# C# D# Baby
B_ A#' B Number9
G# ..A#.. G# Fiddle
[F#~] Choir
G#' A#D#G# Horn
The three chords between 1.57 and 1.58 are delicated poised. The first cut had the basics in the Number nine, Fiddle and Choir. But it also had voices, which were edited out. Finally, the Baby voice was dubbed over the top.
The final chord is B6, or a first inversion G# minor. The intriguing bit is twofold: First, we have five random instruments contributing to this bit of tonality. Second, and I still don't quite believe this, the next section also concludes on a B (the brass band) and a G# (Yoko Ono humming).
These chords bring the first section to a close and begin section two. This transcription of Revolution 9 is very much a work-in-progress. I have already found faults in my earlier post on the minor stretto between 1.00 and 1.10 where I believed my eye rather than my ear. The parts are quite difficult to decipher at times. I welcome corrections.

Section One Summary

So, we can summarise the activity in Section One as follows: one minute of entries, 30 seconds of episodes and a 30 second stretto with a short final close.
0.00 0.30 1.00 1.30
+----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+
Entries Episodes Stretto
It's as if Lennon uses irregular instrumental forces to create a fairly regular piece of music. But it's surprising what he can do with blunt instruments. After we have completed looking at the face value of the completed piece I will spend some time on the evolution of "Revolution 9" in the studio. Much of the apparent order was created during the dubbing/erasing session and the subsequent session which adjusted the lengths of each section.
Here's all the diagrams in one place to facilitate a listening to all of Section 1:
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
0.00 - ######## "Claret"
0.10 b: ############ Waltz
(B-Bb) ################# "Number nine"
0.25 Eb: ###### Stasis strings
0.31 E: Backward piano ############
0.38 Bb7: Agitato strings ###########
0.53 Bb2 Fanfare ######

0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
1.00 C: Bb: ######## Minor stretto
1.10 E: ########........ Babble
1.20 Eb: ######## Stasis strings
1.30 -- Stretto #######################

The stretto at 1.30:
1.30 1.35 1.40 1.45 1.50 1.55
+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+
1.30 ################### JohnAndGeorge
########## Strings (Stasis/Fiddle/Agitato)
1.35 Winds ####################### ## ######
1.40 Fanfare ############## ##
Cackle #####################
1.50 Guitar/Choir #####

In the next post I will summarise the form of the work that has emerged. Then we will use that form to follow through the next two sections which reuses and develops much of the material we have already seen.

Filling me up with your rules...

I have employed a number of conventions in these articles. You will need to use a fixed size font to read these posts sensibly. In the first column I indicate the time, in minutes and seconds, as it occurs on CD. I'm not always exact to the second when referring to the time in the main text. This is not physics.
1.50 (A) This is something that happened at 1 minute 50 seconds In the second column of titles I use "D" to indicate dubs (e.g. D1) and "L" to indicate loops.
In the second column of examples I indicate the notes, chords or key of a section, using the following conventions:
(A) the note A. (ABC) implies the notes A, B and C.
a the chord a minor
A the chord A major
a: the key a minor
A: the key A major
[A] square brackets enclose almost inaudible sounds The third column may have quoted text, which is preceded by the initials of the speaker, if known. JL, GH, YO and GM are obvious. AT: is Alistair Taylor. The text is highly conjectural in places. In melodic examples, "'" and "_" are used to indicate non-intuitive jumps. "a' b" indicates the "a" is above the following "b". "b_ a" indicates that "b" is below the following "a".

copyright (c) ian hammond 1998 -- all rights reserved
=====================================================
"then there's this welsh rarebit pair..."


IAN HAMMOND'S BEATHOVEN: PAGE 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, - Back To Revolution Number 9

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